eyelid surgery definitions


The levator aponeurosis is a thin, tendon-like sheath that connects the eye's main opening muscle, the levator muscle, to the upper eyelid's supporting structure (tarsal plate) and skin. In essence, it transmits the pull from the strong muscle located entirely within the orbital cavity to the delicate eyelid out in front.

occidental upper eyelid anatomy

Skin Subcutaneous Fat
Orbicularis Muscle Eyebrow Fat Pad
Orbital Septum Orbital Fat
Levator Aponeurosis Tarsal Plate


The levator aponeurosis is an important landmark in blepharoplasty surgery and is covered by the same orbital fat that is sometimes removed during cosmetic surgery.

Normal levator aponeurosis (white structure)

If the levator aponeurosis is weakened, thinned, stretched, or torn either naturally, from aging, or as a complication of blepharoplasty, the upper eyelid will not open fully (ptosis) even though the levator muscle remains fully healthy.

Abnormal aponeurosis detached
and retracted upwards

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Frank Meronk, Jr., M.D.
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